Right Wing Watch reports that Lou Engle of TheCall and the International House of Prayer spoke at a recent gathering of the Ramp, a young adult ministry based out of Hamilton, AL. Engle spoke at the Ramp's Summer Awakening 1 conference on June 30th. In an excerpt posted at Right Wing Watch, Engle preached about a vision of gays and lesbians converting to Christianity and healing others of HIV.
"[Bob Jones] had a vision in 1989 of a first wave of homosexuals coming to Christ. A hundred thousand would be just the first wave, and it would come suddenly. I've dreamed of this before ... Men and women begin to pray that God would raise up Saul-like conversions in that community so powerful that they begin to be the preachers of righteousness in their own communities with radical salvations and healings of AIDS ... God, give us a hundred thousand gay and lesbian men and women to be radically transformed. Begin to pray it in your youth groups! Pray it in your schools! Pray it in your devotions! ... We're asking God, loose a movement, a divine breakthrough. Hundred thousand gay and lesbian men and women. Loose a sound that D.C. can't contend with. Loose a sound that the media can't contend with! Overflow the media with the sound of revival!"Curious, I visited the Ramp website and listened to Engle's full sermon, available here. What I heard was a sermon with unsettling rhetoric about Christian martyrdom, race, and abortion.
At the 2:51 mark, Engle reflected on the tragedy of September 11th, 2001, stunned that authorities were discouraging travelers from coming to Boston. He spoke approvingly of Christian martyrs of the past, asking if "Muslims can die better than Christians" today.
"The mayor of Boston, everybody, Ashcroft, attorney general of America, Dick-whatever-it-was, they're all saying, 'Don't come to Boston. That's where the planes came from. Don't come to Boston. It's not safe.' We're getting phone calls from youth groups and everything. 'We can't bring our kids. It's not safe.' And something began to rumble inside of me. Since when can Muslims die better than Christians? [Audience cheers] They go to hell, and we're going to waltz to heaven? Jesus never did say go make Christians. He said go make disciples, and if we don't produce these disciples, we produce an American cultural Christianity that doesn't even look like those guys who went to their martyrdom because they were gripped by a man, Christ Jesus."At the 28:11 mark, Engle claimed that someone prophesied that he would be a "prophet to the nations" during a low point in his life. He used this story as an example of how God "hedges" people in, guiding them toward their destiny.
"Someone prophesied over me thirty years ago I'd be a prophet to the nations. I laughed because I'm thinking, I'm struggling with pornography, I'm mowing lawns making four dollars an hour. Thirty years later, I'm going to Brazil this year, I'm going to Geneva, I'm going to South Korea. How did he do it? Because he hedges us in, behind and before. It's not all up to you. God is with you."Uh, Lou? You aren't a prophet to the nations. You're a preacher who happens to travel a lot. Okay?
Engle talked at length about how Hispanics could be a powerful force against abortion, as well as his ministry efforts with Hispanics through AVIVA. Engle has a history of discussing Hispanics as a new wave of world-changing believers and anti-abortion activists (see here). At the 46:35 mark, he speculated that the current immigration wars are meant to prevent Hispanics from realizing their spiritual destiny.
"A movement is sweeping California, and it might take four years, ten years, I don't know. But I have a feeling that the Hispanics are going to lead the parade of history, and all this immigration and all this stuff that's going on is actually to create an offense in the Hispanic people so they don't fulfil their destiny. God didn't bring them here to have a nice family and get a green card. He called them here because they still have family. They bring their fire from the south. They may bring revival, and you need to bless the Hispanic peoples coming into this nation. I'm not saying we shouldn't have righteous--what do you call it--immigration policy."The fact that some Hispanics are pro-choice, and that many might not appreciate being cast as pawns in Engle's grand vision did not occur to him.
At the 52:24 mark, Engle warned that the "grace period" for abortion in the U.S. was running out. He claimed that the tornado that devastated Joplin, Missouri in 2011 was a sign from God regarding abortion, a claim he's made before.
"I believe the grace period of abortion is running out in America, just like the grace period of slavery ran out ... When the Joplin tornado came last--a year and a half ago, I said to my friends, this is God's dealings with a nation that refused to stop abortion. A tornado is the sign. I didn't preach that. I didn't put it on YouTube. I didn't think that would be too popular, but the Missouri compromise is what issued forth things that led to the Civil War, and once again in Missouri God was dealing there was something going on here."At the 59:28, Engle promoted the myth that Obama's health care reforms fund abortion. In keeping with anti-abortion rhetoric, he conflated emergency contraception with abortion, ignoring the fact that emergency contraception does not induce abortion (see here).
"And so Obamacare just gets past. Maybe you really like Obamacare. People can have health care, but for the first time, all of us are going to have to pay taxes to fund the greatest expansion of abortion in the history of our nation, including the morning-after pill. You will be paying in your taxes, from here on out, you will be paying for people to have the morning-after pill. That means a pill that kills the baby once the conception. You won't even need to have abortion clinics in the days ahead. In universities now they have vending machines that you can get the morning-pill. Do you even know what the morning-after pill is? The morning-after pill's the pill you take after you had sex and conceive and you try to kill the baby."Engle continued to preach about God's disapproval of health care reform. At the 1:02:12, he claimed that, "On the day that Obamacare is passed, Colorado fires, which means the color red, breaks out ... Fires, heat, everywhere."
In short, Engle's speech at the Ramp gathering contained his usual troubling messages about disasters, race, abortion, and the LGBTQ community, but also a chilling message about Christian martyrdom. It is important for observers to keep an eye on the messages of preachers such as Engle, as they offer a glimpse of New Apostolic Reformation undercurrents.
For more information on the Ramp, click here.
To watch Engle's speech, click here.